Top 5 Museums of Brussels
1. Magritte Museum / Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
The Magritte Museum is a separate museum in a complex which houses 4 other museums. The Magritte Museum is by far the most interesting of the four but depending on your interests it may be worth it to buy a combination ticket for all four since it’s not that much more expensive than a single ticket.
The Magritte Museum is solely dedicated to the Belgian surrealist artist Rene Magritte. The museum displays his works in chronological order with letters and notes as background information. Magritte’s most iconic works are sadly missing from the collection, but nonetheless there are great works on display and the museum provides a good overall picture of his work. This museum outshines all other museums in Brussels in both the quality of the collection and the clear and helpful information provided
Bozar is not so much a museum but more of a cultural centre. It has several concert halls, a cinema and large exhibition spaces. The exhibitions on display here are usually the best in Brussels but there is a big difference in the quality of the exhibitions. Some are must see exhibitions others certainly not. Bozar has no collection of its own so, pay a visit to their website to see what’s on and if it’s something that interests you.
3. Royal Museum of Armed Forces and Military History
The Royal Museum of Armed Forces and Millitary History is not for everybody. First you should have an interest in the subject matter. And second, this museum is as much a museum of 19th century museums as it is a military museum. It’s one of the most old fashioned and decrepit museums we have ever visited. The curators have missed out on the maxim of ‘less is more’ and have stuffed each cabinet to the brim with weapons and uniforms.
With these sidenotes given, the collection is extensive and especially the world war one section is broad as is the collection of planes all displayed in a huge exhibition hall. As an added bonus, visitors to the museum get to visit the top of the huge arch which is connected to the museum. The arch provides a nice view over Brussels and the surrounding park.
4. House of European History
The house of European Hisotry is a completely free museum for everyone and tells the history of the European continent and the European Union. The museum is in stark contrast with the Royal Museum of Armed Forces and Millitary History as it is a modern museum with state of the art guidance throughout the place. It’s not so much a museum of objects as it is a museum of the European narrative told by the objects on display. The museum changes exhibitions every half year or so, the exhibitions are on a theme connected to Europe and its history. As this is a free museum, everybody should give it a try.
5. Horta Museum
The Horta Museum is housed in the private house and studio of the Belgian Art Nouveau architect Victor Horta. Horta designed several houses and buildings in Brussels, the four remaining ones are designated as UNESCO World heritage sites, the museum is one of these four. It is also the only one which is always open to the public to visit. Much of the interior and furniture is still in the original state.
Brussels has a lot of other museums, some small others big like the Natural history museum, but none stand out in any way. So, if you didn’t find enough to see or if the museums covered are not what you’re looking for, here are a couple of other decent museums in Brussels.
The Museum of the City of Brussels is housed in the Broodhuys on the Grand Place. It’s a beautiful medieval building and it tells the story of the city of Brussels.
The Museum of Natural Sciences of Belgium has a large collection of Iguanodon skeletons, most of which are in the faulty 19th century position. But beside that, it has a decent variety of different dinosaur skeletons and is especially fun with young children.
The Art & History Museum also in the Cinquantenaire park, is a huge museum with archeological finds and cultural objects from all over the world. It’s a depressing museum as it lacks good signages and lighting. The huge halls are usually devoid of other people adding to the strange atmosphere in the museum. It has good exhibitions though from time to time.
Also read our list of the best museums in Amsterdam.